15 March 2012

Harbor Beach Resort Association-Those Thursday Places

One of the cottages, owned by the Bourke's, at the resort

Rebuilt Clubhouse-Harbor Beach Resort Association, Harbor Beach, Michigan
October, 2011

The clubhouse at the Harbor Beach Resort Association, or the resort as it was called, holds a lot of fun memories for me.  I worked here during the summers of 1974 through 1978.  The money I made those summers helped pay for my college education.

The resort is a private association with individual cottages on the shores of Lake Huron, in Harbor Beach, Michigan.  Resorters came from all over the United States.  Many of the families had been coming to the resort for years.

The clubhouse had a front desk, a dining room, a preschool type room, kitchen, bakery, and apartment like rooms upstairs for staff.  I worked at the resort as a waitress and later head waitress.  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner were served Sunday through Saturday, with the exception of Wednesday and Sunday dinner.  I would report to work by 7:30 in the morning and finish up by 8:00 at night.  We didn't have to work all those hours.  We worked the breakfast shift, from about 7:30 to 9:30 am, the lunch shift from about 11:30 to 1:30 and the dinner shift from about 5:30 to 8:00 pm.  We had free time in between shifts.  We had one day a week off.  The waitresses had rooms upstairs that we could hang out in.  Two waitresses usually shared a room and there were about ten waitresses in all.  A bathroom was available for our use.  The time between shifts was spent sleeping, reading, going to the beach, going home for an hour or so, or just socializing with others.  I loved my time at the resort.

A few years ago the original clubhouse burned down.  A new one was built and it is almost an exact replica of the old one.  They kept the original feel of the clubhouse with wood shingle siding.  When I visited last fall, if I hadn't know about the fire I would have thought that they had just remodelled. 

One of the best things about working at the resort was the food.  Mrs. Beasley and her daughter, Candace, ran the bakery and they made the most delectable treats.  I was always begging for recipes.  My favorites were Pistachio Cake, Eclairs, Parfait Pie, and Peanut Butter Cookies. 

Other memories include serving a family of ten and carrying all ten dinners out on a huge tray, taking orders for dinner at lunch, turning the hot fudge ice cream topping on and invariably it burned-the dishwashers threw a few of those pans out into the woods behind the clubhouse, Wednesday the staff could use the pool-I remember playing water polo there, the wood floor would get wet in the kitchen and one night the staff used the waitresses trays as sleds and slid on the floor, and many more I am sure I will think of after I post this.  

I enjoyed the freedom working at the resort gave me and the memories will always be fond ones.  


  1. Lovely, lovely, lovely, Brenda! The cottage and beach associations were one of the chief reasons I fell so in love with Michigan. And one of the reasons I still love it.

  2. Michigan is a great place to live most of the time. I never realized how lucky I was to grow up on Lake Huron until we moved. Now, we live one and a half hours from the nearest Great Lake.

  3. I loved spending time at my Grandma and Grandfather the Seiberts at there cabin in Harbor Beach on Lake Huron. I miss that very much. I always say it was my Heaven there and I will remember falling asleep to the waves hitting the sand so relaxing and peaceful. Thank you Grandpa Siebert for being a great role model and fun Grandpa to my brother's and sister and I. You both are in my heart forever.

  4. Family memories are so special. Thank you for sharing yours. Yes, falling asleep to the waves is relaxing.

  5. Hey Brenda, just to let you know your first picture, it’s not the old clubhouse, that is a picture of my mom’s old family cottage :)
    Their last name is Bourke

  6. Thank you for the correction Tim. I can see now that it isn't the clubhouse.

    1. I remember George H W Bush had dinner at the “old” clubhouse one evening (he might of even had lunch earlier that day). He was the director of the CIA at the time. I don’t know which family had invited him. I was the dishwasher at the time.

    2. Hey Tim, from your cousin Andy in Florida.

  7. That is interesting. I remember Gary Trudeau of Doonsebury fame was there too. I believe he was a guest of the Mullinix's. Thanks for sharing.